Surrey mums take their fight against council cuts to the High Court

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Four mothers are taking their local council to the High Court over plans to cut services for disabled children.

The group of mums from Surrey says the £20 million in cuts are unlawful as parents weren't consulted. The Council has said it will defend the claim. The parents say officials have a 'moral responsibility' to protect services.

Today the QC for the families said, yes, councils face difficult choices but they also have a duty to consult; to understand whose lives could be affected by their plans.

If my son was to lose transport I could potentially have to give up my job. I'm a single parent - I work in London. His transport collects him in the morning and as soon as he goes I go to work. If that didn't happen what do I do? Do I give up my job?

ALICIA McCOLL, Mother

Keeyan is starting his GCSEs. He's also autistic.

And if they cut budgets if could mean he loses speech and language therapy - occupational therapy. They're really, really important in enabling him to learn. Keeyan really struggles to understand what teachers say. So he has a one-to-one too which supports him and allows him to keep up with the class.

ALICIA McCOLL, Mother
  • Surrey County Council for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities services by £21 million

  • That includes a cut of £1.1 million from the transport services that Alicia and her son rely on

  • 7,700 children in Surrey require special education or health care plans

  • An increase of 44% since 2010

The families question is: 'when did the council talk to us about all this?'

They consulted with headteachers and governors. That was it. The people impacted by the cuts, they didn't bother about.

ALICIA McCOLL

We are defending this claim but as ever our main focus is making sure children get the support that they need.

Surrey County Council